One’s duties depend on what station one occupies in society. You know what to do because you know who you are. In the 19th century, that sort of idea still made sense to a lot of people. In our completely marketized, individualized what’s-left-of society, the concept of duty has entirely disappeared. We’re all freed from the constraints of the society in which we live, but we’re thereby detached from a sense of who we are and how we should live. We’re all left to construct a wholly autonomous self, but, if truth were told, very few of us have the psychological capacity to do so, and it’s not easy to imagine a world in which we did. Hence, too many people, especially women, end up taking prescription tranquilizers, or numbing themselves with opiates. I wish that I could see a more or less clear way forward. I can’t, but I have a hard time conceiving of what we have lasting much longer. No matter how reprehensible I find the Chinese regime, those who rule them appear to have a better idea of how people should live in order to thrive than those who rule us.
mblanc46, commenting on the post Folie á Deux, at Founding Questions.
I keep reading and hearing people talk about the unprecedented level of state control, interference and surveillance in the lives of citizens. It appears the FAUXVID crisis somehow magically imbued governments with the authority and power, plus inclination, to plunge towards tyranny. It’s here in this interview with Marion Maréchal, a right wing former French politician and think-tank founder. It is here in this article about a nurse in Ontario who is sure she will be fired because she refuses the FAUXVID vaccinations. William Briggs notes it here in an article about why mandatory vaccines for children is a bad idea. We started seeing it in March 2020, as in this post at An Und Für Sich, made at the behest of Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben.
I suspect other causes in jurisdictions other than Canada. But in all cases, I highly doubt this disregard for personal liberties guaranteed by our much vaunted constitutional documents came out of nowhere. The roots of this in Canada go back to the reign of Pierre Trudeau (Justin’s Daddy), who enacted the much vaunted Charter of Rights and Freedoms, properly known as the Constitution Act, 1982. (When you cannot even call it by its real name when you enact it, you may be hiding something.) In that document, now so potent in Canadian law that even the Sovereign of Canada, Queen Elizabeth II, must adhere to it, lay sections 1 and 33.
Section 1 says all the rights in the Charter are “subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society”. Whatever does that mean? I’d go into the thousands of pages of Supreme Court of Canada jurisprudence on the matter, but that is just more of the obfuscation I mentioned earlier. In reality, it means that fundamental rights are now only those mentioned in the Charter, not from any other source, and if limitations on those rights are imposed by the government and you do not like it, as long as the government can demonstrate those restrictions are justified in a “free and democratic society”, too bad for you.
If that little trick does not work, then section 33 gives governments a get out of jail free card. They may simply say the law they are enacting operates notwithstanding the Charter, and they get a five year pass on being held accountable for it. This only applies to certain rights, though. If you read what those rights are, you’ll quickly see section 33 gives governments the power to ignore all those fundamental rights which would allow people to take action against them, stop the government from arbitrarily putting people in jail, or forcing people to get vaccinated. Your right to have all of this imposed on you in both French and English cannot be interfered with, though. It’s nice to see Pierre had his priorities right.
(I suppose one could say the electorate could vote the offending government out in the next election, but two problems: 1) The government can delay or simply not call an election, because the right to vote is also subject to section 1 of the Charter; and 2) the Canadian electorate keeps putting people like Justin Trudeau back in power, so accountability is not something they value.)
My point: the roots of the FAUXVID tyranny are not something new and unexpected. Our politicians laid the seeds for this back in the 1970s, and made them paramount over all other laws in the early 1980s. Our current plunge to tyranny has been developing ever since. And even worse, courts are totally backing the governments in this plunge. It’s no shock to lawyers who study the Charter in law school, and it should be no shock to citizens. Canadian governments are not overstepping their authority. They are using the tools as they were intended to be used. The only question is why they restrained themselves for so long.
Indeed, this tyranny may have its roots going back much deeper. That, honour codes, and what is actually happening street-level in the United States, is discussed in the latest Myth of the 20th Century Podcast with guest James Lafond.
What a busy week in the blogosphere.
Fisted by Foucault has an excellent Saturday Commentary and Review, including an introduction to China’s version of de Tocqueville and his version of Democracy In America, called America Against America.
Alf looks at the blackest Black Pill of all, and yet light escapes.
Founding Questions looks at the new economics of scarcity by politics.
Z Man on China’s new role in US politics, the New Bogeyman.
William Briggs, Statistician to the Stars, has a guest post on ‘The Science’ and its use as propaganda.
Banned Hipster had a stellar week. He wonders why so many people are quitting their jobs stateside? Is it because they are embracing owning nothing, renting everything, and liking it?
IM1776 posts a review of Agamben’s FAUXVID essays, now collected: The Epidemic as Anti-Politics.
A newly discovered blog, The Sperg Box, with the aptly named post: A Lovecraftian Meditation on the gripping Existential Horror of Americanism as seen by an Old Stock Yankee to the tune of Primus, which assuredly one is told; sucks – or, an exercise in fatalism encapsulating the gnawing dread of metacognition that your life is a scripted drama and you are a mannequin – or The Black Pill.
Another fellow aggregator is Nikolai Vladivostok at SovietMen. Check out his latest Word from the Dark Side post. As well, new to me, Mogadishu Matt with What I’m Reading, Listening to, And Concerned About.
To close: Can you confess that you thrive in chaos? You’re a sorceress and your eye is on the lost.